Scenario one: Practicing in rural areas we really get some, uh, characters as clients. Such was the case with the new clients and their three dogs. While I was making some notes in the chart they mentioned they were thinking of getting their male dog neutered. I agreed this was a good idea. Then Mr. New Client asked it we "put them to sleep" for that. I assured him we did and the doggie wouldn't feel a thing. Then, as if it was totally normal, he proceeded to explain to me the procedure his father-in-law used for castrating fully conscious newborn puppies involving a bucket and a towel. When I picked my jaw up off the floor, the least offensive thing I could come up with was "well, I don't really think that's a recommended procedure."
Scenario two: A large dog of a breed I am already wary of is barking before I even enter the room. Despite these red flags I tried to not be judgmental and attempted to make friends with the dog. He took some treats and wagged his tail. But as I started to examine him he lunged at my face sending flying against the exam room door and directly out to fetch a muzzle. The owners repeatedly apologized proclaiming he had never bit anyone before. What do you say? It's obviously not ok that the dog tried to eat my face but berating clients for poorly managing their ill-tempered and unpredictable dog is not great for customer service. So he got a special sticker in his file and I am left with an even greater fear of said breed of dog.
Scenario three: Remember the dog that jumped out of the truck and got hit by a car on his way to get neutered? Well, the same day the owners had brought in their other large breed adult dog for a neuter as well and surgery was uneventful. 10 days later they returned with both dogs. Seems the neuter incision looked swollen and and one of the wounds on the hit-by-car dog was not healing well. Turns out they had been letting the dogs wrestle. Really? Where in the discharge instructions for surgery and hit-by-car recovery did it say that would be on ok thing? But obviously these people have impaired judgement to begin with.
Scenario four: A dog was attacked and treated at another clinic. Life goes on and owner takes dog to groomer. Why you would take a short haired dog recovering from bite wounds to a groomer is beyond me, but, whatever. Anyway groomer does not think the wounds look "right" which concerns the owner enough to bring the dog to us for a second opinion. I really didn't think it looked too bad but have no idea what it looked like before. I switched to what I thought was a more appropriate antibiotic and a shampoo and advised that cosmetically he might look worse before he looked better because he was going to lose more hair. Upon checkout the owner wanted to know when, exactly, he would be "better." Well, "better" is a very relative and subjective term and considering she thought he was getting "better" until she spoke with the groomer I had no good way to answer as I wasn't sure what she might consider "better."
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